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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 13 June 29, 1938

Laurels and Brickbats

Laurels and Brickbats

After seeing the programme presented by the Dramatic Club on Friday evening I left the Gym, with mixed feelings. I was conscious of a definite feeling of appreciation for the first and the last play, but the "low comedy in one spasm" set me thinking of the frightful predicament of the man who caught sight of himself in a mirror with the result that he laughed himself to death.

Now, I do not desire to appear narrow in the view I have taken but when a dramatic club that is looking for support includes in its programme so-called entertainment of this description it is not carrying out the purpose and aim that the name implies.

I do not deny that there is some cleverness in this type of writing: my point is that it is not the mirror of any thing other than those who compose and put it on.

Farce of any description, burlesque of any description, is a job for professionals and in my opinion anyway is worthwhile only from that point of view.

Such an effort, as probably Ron Meek knows, lives a hectic life and dies a sudden death. Is it, therefore, worth while?

"E and O.E." I enjoyed immensely, as did the entire audience. It was well done as a whole, particularly its climax and the black-out, well timed and most realistic was the fall of the corpse from the cupboard.

The two women in the play fell for the old fault of over using emphasis in their lines: if such players would just feel their parts a little and abandon conscious emphasis the lines would come the right way.

"The Royal Inn," a very moving little plays, was excellently handled and full marks go to the players and the producer, particularly the latter for his work in the set. It was most realistic without being in any way overdone.

J. D. Freeman, as the American sailor, gave a splendid performance, keeping in character throughout in a perfectly natural manner. "Lily" played her part a difficult one, with sympathy and that air of innocence so essential for the contrast with other characters. "Pearl," no doubt acting under instructions, was inclined to overplay. Her make-up was sufficient and her lines added what was necessary to put the character in its place without any over-acting. As a general rule it is useful to remember that loud characters should be played with restraint.

I appreciated the make-up of Mr. Burke and I expected an Irish brogue before he spoke, which, to my mind, would have made him an almost perfect character. He perhaps lacked a little in force and could have been played with more strength. These however are unwarranted criticisms under the circumstances. The main point is that so long as this Dramatle Club continues to produce this type of play with the degree of success already achieved they will have nothing to worry about on the score of progress.

Thanks for a very enjoyable evening.

F. M. Renner.